School of forestry and environmental studies

School Notes: School of the Environment
March/April 2021

Ingrid C. “Indy” Burke |

Alumni named to top US environmental posts

With climate policy a major priority of his administration, President Joe Biden has appointed two YSE alumni to top posts in his cabinet. 

Maggie Thomas ’15MEM has been named the chief of staff of the newly created Office of Domestic Climate Policy. Thomas, who most recently served as political director of the climate-focused nonprofit Evergreen Action, worked on the Biden-Harris transition team and was a climate policy advisor on the presidential campaigns of Washington governor Jay Inslee and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. 

President Biden has also named Dan Utech ’97MES, ’97MPPM, a dual-degree graduate with the Yale School of Management, chief of staff of the Environmental Protection Agency. Utech is the founder of the consultancy Climate Strategies and previously served as deputy assistant for energy and climate change under President Barack Obama. He has also served as senior advisor to the secretary at the US Department of Energy and was senior advisor on the environment to former senator Hillary Clinton.

YPCCC head claims climate science communication prize

Anthony Leiserowitz, the founder and director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC), has been named the recipient of the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication by the leadership dialogue Climate One, in honor of his scientific contributions and effective communication on the issue of climate change. Leiserowitz is an expert on the public perception of climate change and environmental beliefs, attitudes, and behavior, conducting research at the global, national, and local scales. Founded in 2005, YPCCC is a global leader in climate change communication, conducting scientific research, providing teaching and training, and directly engaging a national public audience through numerous media channels.

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